Off Limits

Off Limits

by Michele Albert

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940011294914
Publisher: Michele Albert
Publication date: 04/30/2011
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 745 KB

About the Author

Author of several books with Avon and Pocket -- contemporary romance and romantic suspense -- and contributor to a short story romance anthology.

First Chapter

Off Limits

Chapter One

Nursing a vicious hangover -- and inexcusably late for work, judging by the captain's glare dogging his heels -- Bobby Halloran ran the office gauntlet of ringing phones, clacking keyboards, and yakking detectives to the sanctuary of his office desk.

Without bothering to remove his sunglasses, he sank onto his chair, wincing at its grating creak, then raised the steaming take-out cup of coffee in his hand, gulped half of its contents down in one swallow, and shuddered.

Nothing like kicking off a brand-new day to the bitter taste of burnt coffee laced with a chemical chaser of Styrofoam.

Unfortunately, neither the caffeine jolt nor his slightly scalded tongue did a damn thing to send his headache packing, much less dull the stale, ashy taste in his mouth. He'd given up cigarettes five years ago, but still slipped in a smoke when he was shit-faced or deep in a funk.

He wanted to be home in bed with a pillow over his face, and just to make matters worse, the greasy smell of the egg and sausage McMuffin he'd bought on his way in made him queasy. Grabbing a bite to eat had seemed like a good idea at the time, and now he couldn't shove the bag out of his way quick enough.

What the hell had he been thinking last night? Drowning his sorrows in booze had never worked, and if he'd had a reason to believe drowning his guilt would work any better, he couldn't remember it in the light of day.

As clipped, determined footsteps cut across his thoughts, Bobby cautiously looked up -- and groaned inwardly.

Well, hell, now his rotten morning was complete: Earnest Emma had arrived in all her perfectionist glory to make him feel even more inadequate than he'd been feeling just five seconds ago.

She slowed as she approached, and regarded him with that same flat, dispassionate look she always wore, a look that said she found him as appealing as something she'd just scraped off the sole of her shoe. "Late night?"

Not in the mood for small talk, he only grunted. And downed more coffee.

"Looks like you fought the bottle, and the bottle won." She moved to her desk. "You're not going to throw up, are you? Because it's really way too early in the morning for me to deal with that."

"I'm good."

Barring bright lights, loud noises, or sudden jostles. Or a whiff of that McMuffin.

"I've got Tylenol, if you need it."

"I'm already on that part of damage control." Then, belatedly realizing she'd thawed enough to offer him help, he added, "But thanks."

She'd already dismissed him, though, and didn't bother acknowledging his thank-you as she sorted her phone messages, presumably by priority, and then tapped them into a tidy square.

Most cops were control freaks, but Detective Emma Frey took the freak part of it soaring to whole new levels.

In a rare moment of whimsy—or maybe just a burst of temper over his latest fuck-up—the captain had assigned the newly arrived Frey to the desk next to Bobby's. He didn't know much about Frey, beyond that she'd relocated from the LAPD's Hollywood Division, and she'd barely registered on his radar so far. He hadn't talked much with her since she'd started work a little more than a week ago, and every time he ran into her, she looked exactly the same: crisp, cool, and relentlessly serious in brown suits that fit right in with her brown-haired, un-obtrusive looks.

But even with his morning-after impaired powers of observation, he couldn't miss the chip on her shoulder the size of the Superdome.

"Hey, look who finally decided to grace us with his presence. Glad to see you put your detecting skills to good use and managed to find your way to work this morning, Halloran."

Bobby looked up to find Captain Derrick Strong, head of the First District Investigation Unit, staring at him with an undisguised irritation.

"Sorry. I got tied up in traffic." Which was mostly true; because he'd been running late, he'd missed the ferry, got on the Pontchartrain Expressway instead -- and ended up ensnarled in rush-hour congestion.

"Right. Which is why you're still wearing your sunglasses."

Reluctantly, Bobby removed his dark glasses and slipped them into his shirt pocket. The hard fluorescent light lanced clear through his eyeballs, which jump-started the throbbing in his head, then triggered an uneasy lurch in his belly.

Strong took in the reaction, and his dark, thick brows pulled together in a straight line. "You missed the morning briefing, but Frey can fill you in. We had a busy weekend."

Nothing new in that. The First District encompassed some of the roughest parts of New Orleans, including the Lafitte and Iberville housing projects, always fertile grounds for sprouting all sorts of weedy, pernicious vices.

"And you're also just in time to catch a case."

"Jesus, I hope it's not a murder. My stomach's not up to blood or brains yet. At least not before one more cup of coffee."

"Then consider this your lucky break for the day." Strong tossed a file on Bobby's cluttered desk. "An apparent burglary with heavy property damage in the Esplanade Ridge area. Delgado started the preliminary work, but she's going on maternity leave tomorrow, so I'm transferring the case over now. You two can pick up where she left off."

Bobby straightened from his slouch, suddenly wary. "What do you mean, 'you two'?"

"Take Detective Frey with you. Show her the ropes, seeing as how she's new."

Bobby toward Frey ...

Off Limits. Copyright © by Michele Albert. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Off Limits 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Off Limits is one of Michele Albert¿s Best. Emma Frey is a no-nonsense, follow the rules kind of cop. She gets paired up on a major case with Bobby Halloran. Bobby has not met a rule he cannot get around or a woman he can get into his bed. Emma presents problems for him on all fronts. Despite what people may say about Bobby and his methods. He cares deeply for those in his life. Emma soon is not only in is face at work, she has worked her way into his heart. Emma and Bobby grow closer as they find out answers on a troubling case. Bobby has always been a favorite of mine and his story is well worth the wait. Emma is the perfect woman for Bobby. This is a wonderful book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Police Detective Emma Frey is forced to transfer from Los Angeles to New Orleans because her life in California had turned miserable when she turned in crooked cops. Her new boss Captain Strong assigns her as the lead on a burglary that included malicious property damage, but also has Bobby Halloran tag along. However, before the two detectives hit the squad car, the Captain lectures Bobby to behave.

As they investigate the case, she watches Bobby break the rules even using what she deems excessive force on a low life. However, she fails to report him though she has trouble with his attitude. If she accompanied him to the hospital to visit a victim she would understand his anger and frustration. Yet in spite of his outrageous street behavior, Emma the earnest one is falling in love with her partner and he, to his chagrin, reciprocates.

This exhilarating police procedural romance enables the audience to see more than just a love tale as the two lead protagonists are frustrated with infra and inter justice. Though Bobby commits acts that should have him tossed off the force, readers will cheer his sense of fair play as much as his partner begins to appreciate it. Fan will want more tales like this insightful action thriller.

Harriet Klausner